J M Larruga

University of Oran, Oran, Wilaya d' Oran, Algeria

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Publications (70)189.54 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The present-day population structure of La Gomera is outstanding in its high aboriginal heritage, the greatest in the Canary Islands. This was earlier confirmed by both mitochondrial DNA and autosomal analyses, although genetic drift due to the fifteenth century European colonization could not be excluded as the main factor responsible. The present mtDNA study of aboriginal remains and extant samples from the six municipal districts of the island indeed demonstrates that the pre-Hispanic colonization of La Gomera by North African people involved a strong founder event, shown by the high frequency of the indigenous Canarian U6b1a lineage in the aboriginal samples (65%). This value is even greater than that observed in the extant population (44%), which in turn is the highest of all the seven Canary Islands. In contrast to previous results obtained for the aboriginal populations of Tenerife and La Palma, haplogroups related to secondary waves of migration were not detected in La Gomera aborigines, indicating that isolation also had an important role in shaping the current population. The rugged relief of La Gomera divided into several distinct valleys probably promoted subsequent aboriginal intra-insular differentiation that has continued after the European colonization, as seen in the present-day population structure observed on the island.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 19 November 2014; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.251.
    European journal of human genetics: EJHG 11/2014; · 3.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genome analyses have greatly improved the phylogeny and phylogeography of human mtDNA. Human mitochondrial DNA haplogroup U6 has been considered as a molecular signal of a Paleolithic return to North Africa of modern humans from southwestern Asia. Results Using 230 complete sequences we have refined the U6 phylogeny, and improved the phylogeographic information by the analysis of 761 partial sequences. This approach provides chronological limits for its arrival to Africa, followed by its spreads there according to climatic fluctuations, and its secondary prehistoric and historic migrations out of Africa colonizing Europe, the Canary Islands and the American Continent. Conclusions The U6 expansions and contractions inside Africa faithfully reflect the climatic fluctuations that occurred in this Continent affecting also the Canary Islands. Mediterranean contacts drove these lineages to Europe, at least since the Neolithic. In turn, the European colonization brought different U6 lineages throughout the American Continent leaving the specific sign of the colonizers origin.
    BMC Evolutionary Biology 05/2014; · 3.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study is to analyze mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome lineages in a range of Atlantic and Mediterranean populations of the Iberian Peninsula in search of genetic differences between both façades and to uncover the most probable geographic origin and coalescence ages of lineages. The control region of mitochondrial DNA and haplogroup diagnostic positions were analyzed in 575 subjects and Y-chromosome markers were typed in 260 unrelated males. Moreover, previously published data were compiled and used in the analyses. The level of genetic structure deduced from uniparental markers for the Iberian Peninsula was weak, with stronger Atlantic versus Mediterranean than North to South differentiation and larger diversities in the South. In general, mitochondrial DNA haplogroups had mainly Paleolithic and Mesolithic coalescences in Europe, although some of them, ruling out drift effects, seem to have younger implantation in Central Europe and the Atlantic areas than in the Mediterranean (I, J, J2a, T1, and W) while others as N1 and X could have reached the Iberian Peninsula at the Neolithic transition. On the other hand, younger coalescence ages are being proposed for the arriving or spread of the bulk of Y-chromosome lineages in Europe. The major haplotypic affinities found for all the Iberian Peninsula regions were always with North Africa and the Atlantic Islands. These results draw an Atlantic network that clearly resembles those of the Megalithic Copper and Bronze cultures at this part of Europe. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Human Biology 12/2013; · 1.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: North Africa is considered a distinct geographic and ethnic entity within Africa. Although modern humans originated in this Continent, studies of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome genealogical markers provide evidence that the North African gene pool has been shaped by the back-migration of several Eurasian lineages in Paleolithic and Neolithic times. More recent influences from sub-Saharan Africa and Mediterranean Europe are also evident. The presence of East-West and North-South haplogroup frequency gradients strongly reinforces the genetic complexity of this region. However, this genetic scenario is beset with a notable gap, which is the lack of consistent information for Algeria, the largest country in the Maghreb. To fill this gap, we analyzed a sample of 240 unrelated subjects from a northwest Algeria cosmopolitan population using mtDNA sequences and Y-chromosome biallelic polymorphisms, focusing on the fine dissection of haplogroups E and R, which are the most prevalent in North Africa and Europe respectively. The Eurasian component in Algeria reached 80% for mtDNA and 90% for Y-chromosome. However, within them, the North African genetic component for mtDNA (U6 and M1; 20%) is significantly smaller than the paternal (E-M81 and E-V65; 70%). The unexpected presence of the European-derived Y-chromosome lineages R-M412, R-S116, R-U152 and R-M529 in Algeria and the rest of the Maghreb could be the counterparts of the mtDNA H1, H3 and V subgroups, pointing to direct maritime contacts between the European and North African sides of the western Mediterranean. Female influx of sub-Saharan Africans into Algeria (20%) is also significantly greater than the male (10%). In spite of these sexual asymmetries, the Algerian uniparental profiles faithfully correlate between each other and with the geography.
    PLoS ONE 02/2013; 8(2):e56775. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Type 1 and type 2 diabetes, complicated with renal disease, have a significantly higher incidence in the Canary Islands than in mainland Spain and other European countries. Present-day Canarian inhabitants consist of a mixed population with North African indigenous and European colonizer ancestors who have rapidly evolved from a rural to an urban life style. The aim of this work was to assess the possible role of genetic and environmental factors on diabetes-related end-stage renal disease incidence in the Canary Islands. For both types of diabetes there is an ethnic susceptibility increased by diabetes family history. Whereas the Y-chromosome does not play a significant role, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroup differences point to a maternal origin for this ethnic predisposition, confirming susceptible and protective effects for haplogroups J and T, respectively. In addition, urban life style seems to be an additional risk factor for type 1 diabetes. The maternal ethnic predisposition to diabetes complicated with kidney disease detected in the Canary Islands signals mtDNA and X-chromosome markers as the best candidates to uncover the genetic predisposition to this disease.
    Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers 04/2012; 16(8):859-64. · 1.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome variation has been studied in Bou Omrane and Bou Saâd, two Tunisian Berber populations. In spite of their close geographic proximity, genetic distances between them were high and significant with both uniparental markers. A global analysis, including all previously studied Tunisian samples, confirmed the existence of a high female and male population structure in this country. Analyses of molecular variance analysis evidenced that this differentiation was not attributable to ethnic differences. Mantel test showed that, in all cases, Y-chromosome haplotypic distances correlated poorly with geography, whereas after excluding the more isolated samples of Bou Omrane and Bou Saâd, the mtDNA pattern of variation is significantly correlated with geography. Congruently, the N(m) ratio of males versus females pointed to a significant excess of female migration rate across localities, which could be explained by patrilocality, a common marriage system in rural Tunisia. In addition, it has been observed that cultural isolation in rural communities promotes, by the effect of genetic drift, stronger loss of diversity and larger genetic differentiation levels than those observed in urban areas as deduced from comparisons of their respective mean genetic diversity and their respective mean genetic distances among populations. It is likely that the permanent exodus from rural to urban areas will have important repercussions in the future genetic structure of this country.
    Journal of Human Genetics 08/2011; 56(10):734-41. · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It has been proposed that the distribution patterns and coalescence ages found in Europeans for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups V, H1 and H3 are the result of a post-glacial expansion from a Franco-Cantabrian refuge that recolonized central and northern areas. In contrast, in this refined mtDNA study of the Cantabrian Cornice that contributes 413 partial and 9 complete new mtDNA sequences, including a large Basque sample and a sample of Asturians, no experimental evidence was found to support the human refuge-expansion theory. In fact, all measures of gene diversity point to the Cantabrian Cornice in general and the Basques in particular, as less polymorphic for V, H1 and H3 than other southern regions in Iberia or in Central Europe. Genetic distances show the Cantabrian Cornice is a very heterogeneous region with significant local differences. The analysis of several minor subhaplogroups, based on complete sequences, also suggests different focal expansions over a local and peninsular range that did not affect continental Europe. Furthermore, all detected clinal trends show stronger longitudinal than latitudinal profiles. In Northern Iberia, it seems that the highest diversity values for some haplogroups with Mesolithic coalescence ages are centred on the Mediterranean side, including Catalonia and South-eastern France.
    Heredity 01/2011; 106(1):37-45. · 3.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We previously reported that certain mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) polymorphisms in the coding region may be involved in the pathogenesis for primary open-angle-glaucoma (POAG). This encouraged us to extend our work and assess whether mtDNA diagnostic polymorphisms, defining geographically structured haplogroups, could be associated with the development of POAG. We sequenced the mtDNA regulatory hypervariable region-I (HVS-I) region and coding regions, comprising haplogroup diagnostic polymorphisms, in 176 POAG patients and 186 matched healthy controls (free of glaucoma by examination) of Saudi Arabia ascendancy. A large sample of 810 healthy Saudi Arabs representing the general Saudi population has also been included in the analysis. Assigning individuals into various mitochondrial haplogroups was performed using the nomenclature previously described for African and for Eurasian sequences. African mtDNA haplotypes belonging to L haplogroups, excluding L2, confer susceptibility to POAG whereas the Eurasian haplogroup N1 was associated with reduced risk of developing POAG in Saudi Arabian population. Saudi individuals with mtDNA of African origin are at higher risk of developing POAG. In addition, the mtDNA Eurasian haplogroup N1 may play a mild protective effect to this illness.
    Molecular vision 01/2011; 17:1468-72. · 2.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In a previous preliminary analysis we reported that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroup R0a was significantly more frequent in primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG) Saudi patients than in healthy Saudi controls. This result prompted us to extend our work using a significant larger Saudi PACG cohort and more healthy controls. We sequenced the mtDNA regulatory hypervariable region-I (HVS-I) and coding regions, comprising haplogroup diagnostic polymorphisms, in 227 PACG Saudi patients and compared their haplogroup frequencies with those obtained from 186 matched healthy controls (free of PACG by examination) and from a large sample of 810 healthy Saudi Arabs representing the general Saudi population. MtDNA Haplogroups R0a and J, the most abundant lineages in Saudi Arabia, were in significant higher frequencies in the PACG patients than in controls, while the widespread western Eurasian haplogroup U was associated with reduced risk to developing PACG. Haplogroups R0a and J could be ancestry informative markers for PACG in the Saudi Arabian population. In addition, the western Eurasian haplogroup U may play a mild protective effect to this illness.
    Molecular vision 01/2011; 17:2171-6. · 2.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate whether different mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups have a role on the development of pseudoexfoliation glaucoma (PEG) in the Saudi Arab population. The mtDNA regulatory region and coding regions comprising mtDNA haplogroup diagnostic polymorphisms were sequenced in patients with PEG (n=94), healthy matched controls (free of PEG; n=112) and a healthy Saudi Arab population group (n=810). The Eurasian haplogroup T and the Sub-Saharan African Haplogroup L2 confer susceptibility to PEG, whereas the Eurasian haplogroup N1 was associated with reduced risk to develop PEG in the Saudi Arab population. Mitochondrial haplogroups T and L2 may play a role in the development of PEG in the Saudi Arabian population.
    Molecular vision 01/2011; 17:543-7. · 2.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: By virtue of the functional role of the mitochondrion in energy and reactive oxygen species production, mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) are potential candidates for cardiovascular-related disorders. Further, the mtDNA is extremely polymorphic and several diagnostic single-nucleotide polymorphisms have been used to assort sequences into haplogroups with defined continental and regional ranges. However, the relevance of these haplogroups and mutations with respect to coronary artery disease (CAD) susceptibility remains unclear. In this study, we evaluated the role of the 16189T>C variants and mtDNA haplogroups as predisposing factors for CAD in 669 Saudi patients with angiographically established disease compared with 258 disease-free controls. The 16189T>C was associated with CAD (1.524 [1.076-2.159]; p = 0.017). However, this association was influenced by age as well as the presence of myocardial infarction and hypertension. Among the haplogroups, only the N1c showed a borderline protective relationship (p = 0.074) with CAD as an independent risk factor. This association turned significant in the total sample (0.176 [0.042-0.736]; p = 0.017) and in the <50-year age group (0.075 [0.008-0.743]; p = 0.027), when included as a possible confounding factor. Our results suggested that the impact of mtDNA polymorphism on CAD manifestation is influenced by important confounders, particularly the presence of myocardial infarction, hypertension, and age.
    Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers 02/2010; 14(1):43-7. · 1.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The reconstruction of the origin and spread of modern humans has been a multidisciplinary enterprise. Archaeological records and genetic inferences (Stringer and Andrews, 1988), have given strong support to the model of a single recent origin of modern humans in Africa around 200 ka (McDougall et al., 2005). Subsequent dispersals out of Africa replaced, in relatively short time, the archaic humans living in Eurasia (Pääbo et al., 2004). However, the dates of this exit and the routes taken to spread out of Africa are currently debatable topics. On the basis of modern human fossils in the Levant, dated around 120 ka (Valladas et al., 1988), a northern route by land across the Sinai peninsula was proposed. The lack of fossil continuity in the area prompted researchers to consider it as an unproductive exit. A later successful exit around 45 ka using the same corridor has received stronger archaeological support (Lahr and Foley, 1994). A second, maritime, southern route across the Bab al Mandab strait and afterwards coasting Arabia, India, Southeast Asia to reach the Sahul has also been proposed as a complementary or alternative exit gate (Stringer, 2000). Recent archaeological findings in coastal Eritrea dated about 125 ka (Walter et al., 2000) have been taken as support of an earlier exit age for the southern route (Stringer, 2000). KeywordsDispersals-Macrohaplogroup-MtDNA
    12/2009: pages 79-87;
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    ABSTRACT: Macaronesia covers four Atlantic archipelagos: the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, and the Cape Verde islands. When discovered by Europeans in the 15th century, only the Canaries were inhabited. Historical reports highlight the impact of Iberians on settlement in Macaronesia. Although important differences in their settlement are documented, its influence on their genetic structures and relationships has yet to be ascertained. In this study, the hypervariable region I (HVRI) sequence and coding region polymorphisms of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in 623 individuals from the Azores (120) and Canary Islands (503) were analyzed. Combined with published data, these give a total of 1,542 haplotypes from Macaronesia and 1,067 from the Iberian Peninsula. The results obtained indicate that Cape Verde is the most distinctive archipelago, with an mtDNA pool composed almost exclusively of African lineages. However, the other archipelagos present an mtDNA profile dominated by the presence of West-Eurasian mtDNA haplogroups with African lineages present in varying proportions. Moreover, no signs of integration of typical Canarian U6 lineages in the other archipelagos were detected. The four Macaronesia archipelagos currently have differentiated genetic profiles, and the Azores present the highest intra-archipelago differentiation and the lowest values of diversity. The analyses performed show that the present-day genetic profile of the Macaronesian archipelagos was mainly determined by the initial process of settlement and further microdifferentiation probably as a consequence of the small population size of some islands. Moreover, contacts between archipelagos seem to have had a low impact on the mtDNA genetic pool of each archipelago.
    American Journal of Physical Anthropology 11/2009; 141(4):610-9. · 2.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The indigenous Canary Islands population suffered a strong cultural and genetic impact when they were colonized by Europeans in the fifteenth century. The molecular analysis of the ABO blood group gene on aboriginal and seventeenth to eighteenth century remains confirms the demographic history of the islands depicted by previous archaeological, anthropological, and genetic studies. ABO allele frequencies clearly related Canarian aborigines with North African Berber populations, its most probable source of origin, and is far related to Iberian and to the current population of the archipelago. The historical sample shows a congruent intermediate position testifying already a strong European influence that would go in augment since then to present times, affecting all the islands with the important exception of La Gomera.
    Immunogenetics 09/2009; 61(9):603-10. · 2.49 Impact Factor
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    BMC Genetics 09/2009; · 2.36 Impact Factor
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    BMC Evolutionary Biology 09/2009; · 3.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Teeth from 38 aboriginal remains of La Palma (Canary Islands) were analyzed for external and endogenous mitochondrial DNA control region sequences and for diagnostic coding positions. Informative sequences were obtained from 30 individuals (78.9%). The majority of lineages (93%) were from West Eurasian origin, being the rest (7%) from sub-Saharan African ascription. The bulk of the aboriginal haplotypes had exact matches in North Africa (70%). However, the indigenous Canarian sub-type U6b1, also detected in La Palma, has not yet been found in North Africa, the cradle of the U6 expansion. The most abundant H1 clade in La Palma, defined by transition 16260, is also very rare in North Africa. This means that the exact region from which the ancestors of the Canarian aborigines came has not yet been sampled or that they have been replaced by later human migrations. The high gene diversity found in La Palma (95.2+/-2.3), which is one of the farthest islands from the African continent, is of the same level than the previously found in the central island of Tenerife (92.4+/-2.8). This is against the supposition that the islands were colonized from the continent by island hopping and posterior isolation. On the other hand, the great similarity found between the aboriginal populations of La Palma and Tenerife is against the idea of an island-by-island independent maritime colonization without secondary contacts. Our data better fit to an island model with frequent migrations between islands.
    European journal of human genetics: EJHG 05/2009; 17(10):1314-24. · 3.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The phylogenetic relationships of 15 species of the obscura group of Drosophila were analysed by use of one- and two-dimensional electrophoresis. Genetic distances based on two-dimensional data are five times smaller than those based on native proteins. From the data, it is proposed that the species radiation of the obscura group happened in two evolutionary bursts, the first one giving rise to at least four palearctic proto-lineages (bifasciata, obscura (including D. subsilvestris), subobscura, and microlabis) and one or two proto-nearctic lineages (affinis, pseudoobscura), and the second, more recent burst giving rise to the current speciation within lineages.
    Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 04/2009; 33(2):101 - 108. · 1.80 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
189.54 Total Impact Points


  • 2013
    • University of Oran
      • Department of Biotechnology
      Oran, Wilaya d' Oran, Algeria
  • 1983–2013
    • Universidad de La Laguna
      • • Faculty of Biology
      • • Department of Parasitology, Ecology and Genetics
      San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Canary Islands, Spain
  • 2011
    • King Saud University
      • College of Medicine
      Riyadh, Mintaqat ar Riyad, Saudi Arabia
  • 2009
    • University of Tunis El Manar
      Tunis-Ville, Tūnis, Tunisia
  • 2007–2008
    • King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre
      • Department of Genetics
      Jeddah, Mintaqat Makkah, Saudi Arabia
    • University of Oslo
      • Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis
      Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  • 2002–2004
    • Universidade da Madeira
      • Centro de Estudos da Macaronésia
      Funchal, Regiao Autonoma da Madeira, Portugal
  • 1998
    • Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de Candelaria
      Cancelaria, Canary Islands, Spain
  • 1984
    • University of Tuebingen
      • Institute for Neurobiology
      Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany